According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_(software)) Eclipse is a multi-language software development environment comprising an IDE and a plug-in system to extend it. It is written primarily in Java and can be used to develop applications in Java and, by means of the various plug-ins, in other languages as well, including C, C++, COBOL, Python, Perl, PHP, and others.
Eclipse started life as an IBM Canada project. It was developed by Object Technology International (OTI) as a Java-based replacement for the Smalltalk-based VisualAge family of IDE products. The Eclipse Foundation was created in January 2004. IBM’s Chief Technology Officer Lee Nackman claims that the name “Eclipse” was chosen to target Microsoft’s Visual Studio product.
Eclipse was originally meant for Java developers, but through the use of plug-ins to the small run-time kernel, other languages can be used. And there are Eclipse widgets.
And now CA has got in on the act. CA InterTest Batch and CA InterTest for CICS, now feature a Graphical User Interface based on the Eclipse Platform, which they claim makes it easier for new and experienced mainframers to execute core testing, and debugging tasks. The press release adds that these tasks historically have been time-consuming phases of the mainframe application development and deployment life-cycle.
What CA is claiming is that the new CA InterTest GUI helps developers re-use and re-purpose existing mainframe application code in order to further improve productivity and support Service Oriented Architecture implementations. It says that by plugging CA InterTest tools into their larger Eclipse-based integrated development environments, customers can more easily and seamlessly debug end-to-end composite applications that include mainframe, distributed, Web, and/or mobile components.
IBM has been making a big thing of Eclipse for a long time – well it would I suppose as it had a hand in its development. Its Rational mainframe tools integrate with Eclipse.
Also, Compuware announced a new version of its analysis and debugging tool last week, Xpediter/Eclipse 2.0. The company said that Compuware Xpediter helps the next generation of developers analyse applications and quickly understand the business processes and data flows in those applications, avoiding an unnecessarily steep learning curve. Xpediter/Eclipse 2.0 also helps these new developers become productive quicker by moving away from the traditional “green screen” interface and providing a modernized point-and-click environment, to which these new employees are accustomed.
This announcement more clearly points to the thinking behind these product updates – and that is that mainframers are getting old, so in order to keep the machines functioning there needs to be a way for younger people to become productive very quickly without learning the arcane ways of the machine – and Eclipse provides such an environment for them to work in. Watch out for more Eclipse-related announcements.